In case you haven’t heard, the United States Postal Service is looking to raise rates next year.
That’s right, folks. You could end up paying 46 cents to mail a first class letter in the near future.
The USPS is desparately trying to dig out of the financial hole it’s in, and unfortunately, this rate hike won’t even come close to addressing it.
So, how do you deal?
You could consider stockpiling postage stamps, although I don’t know that it’s the best solution.
Instead, try saving money on postage in these ways:
Send e-mails instead of snail mail. E-mails used to be poor etiquette, but now they are so common, most people aren’t phased by it. With today’s technology you can really spruce up a personal message. Include photos or consider using a service like Smilebox to send a personalized message. You’ll save a ton of money on greeting cards.
Use the phone. Take advantage of cheap long distance rates or unlimited calling on your cell phone. Hearing a person’s voice can mean more than an e-mail or a piece of mail.
Use Skype. If you and your loved ones have a good internet connection and web cams, you can talk with each other via Skype for free. It’s a great way to stay in touch over long distances.
Send a postcard if you must send mail. Although the cost of mailing a postcard is also expected to rise, it is still cheaper than mailing a letter. I have one friend who sends a photo postcard to her friends and family with a link to their family website instead of the traditional Christmas card and newsletter.
Weigh your mail. If you have any doubts about whether your letter weighs more than one ounce, weigh it with a postage scale. If you guess, you could end up paying too much or too little, which could cause unnecessary expenses and delays.
Avoid the rush. If it all possible, plan your mailing activities so that you don’t have to get your mail to its destination quickly. You will then have the luxury of choosing a slower method of sending your mail but at a greatly reduced rate.
Take care of business online. Pay your bills online and eliminate several stamps (and the cost of using checks and envelopes) each month.
Consider your mailing needs. Think long and hard about what you need to send and why you are sending it. If it’s important that you send it, you’ll need to find room in your budget to do it. If not, don’t mail it.
What are some ways you save money on postage?